Elderly people given more control in nursing homes

Many Alabama residents need to find nursing home care for a relative or already have loved ones living in care facilities. These people understand some of the challenges associated with finding a place for their family members that provides quality care and safe treatment at the same time. With a seemingly growing number of stories reporting instances of abuse and neglect at nursing homes across the nation, Alabamans will be pleased to know that the government has recently bolstered regulations that will give residents and their families more power in keeping elderly people safe.

Spearheaded by the Health and Human Services Secretary, some of the changes include the ability for residents to choose what they want to eat and when they would like to eat rather than being forced to eat only what and when a nursing home dictates. People may also select who they share a room with, as long as it is a person of the same gender. Gay and lesbian couples could therefore be kept together and so could sisters, brothers or other family members.

Another big change is the official inclusion of financial exploitation as one form of elder abuse. Anyone who has been fired from a job because of any financial abuse of an elder would not be allowed to work at a nursing home.

People with relatives in nursing homes who suspect problems might find it helpful to talk with an attorney. This can be another way of learning what the changing law requires and allows.

Source: The Washington Post, "New rules give nursing home residents more power," Susan Jaffe, Dec. 27. 2016

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